Sarah Marks on how ‘brainwashing’ was used as a Cold War code-word for Communist mass indoctrination; and to express anxieties about consumerism after ’89.
How did mental health professionals respond to the social and political upheavals of the 1960s? Lucas Richert explores the radical psychiatry movement.
Producer David Stenhouse on psychological profiling, as featured in BBC Radio 4’s Dictators on the Couch, presented by Hidden Persuaders’ Daniel Pick.
Aleksandra Brokman on the USSR’s use of psychological techniques to improve athletes’ performance, when sport was a key arena of Cold War competition.
Sarah Marks reflects on histories of the human sciences across East and West, and what we could still learn about the ‘psy’ professions in the Cold War.
Erika Dyck discusses the legacies of LSD’s Cold War reputation, and the implications for the recent renaissance in ‘psychedelic science’.
Can comic books negatively condition children’s behavior? In the 1950s that question provoked a furore, when the psychiatrist Frederic Wertham alleged comics had serious, deleterious effects. Dennis Doyle, who teaches history at St Louis College of Pharmacy, explores the story.
Earlier this year, Daniel Pick and Paul Preston recorded their conversation about the rediscovery of Alfonso Laurencic, a designer of highly unusual prison cells during the Spanish Civil War. Inspired by their discussion, Carl-Henrik Bjerstrom, delves into the circumstances surrounding the creation of these cells and the scandals that followed.
Beginning Monday May 9 at 14:15, BBC Radio 4 will be re-airing In Search of Ourselves: A History of Psychology and the Mind. Executive producer Alan Hall explains the motivation for the series, how it took shape, and why its subject matter continues to be relevant.
Hannah Proctor looks afresh at the methodologies of a key Sovietological study, The Harvard Project on the Soviet Social System, and uncovers the surprising ways that anxieties and assumptions about totalitarianism structured social scientific research.